A fine, extremely rare and attractive platinum chronograph wristwatch from the haute horlogerie Swiss watch brand Daniel Roth, founded in 1989 by Daniel Roth, Swiss watchmaker of French origin, and active until the 2010s. Reference launched circa 2005. Double ellipse-shaped curved Ellipsocurvex case in platinum 950, measuring 44 x 41mm, 15mm thick, sapphire caseback with engraved brand logo, reference and case serial number. Silvered and grey-blue multi-level ‘sandwich’ dial with finely cut Roman numerals. DR210 caliber, self-winding, engine-turned solid gold rotor, power reserve up to 45 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand at 6 o’clock, chronograph with central seconds, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock, date aperture at 6 o’clock and mainspring torque indicator at 12 o’clock. Black leather strap, 18k white gold Daniel Roth double folding clasp.

Lot essay

Throughout its timeline, the Daniel Roth brand used many high-end chronograph calibers in their collection, including hand-wound or automatic movements of both vintage and modern production from Nouvelle Lémania, Zenith, Girard-Perregaux, Frédéric Piguet, as well as in-house movements.

Based on a Frédéric Piguet 1185, the DR210 caliber of the present lot features an unusual torque indicator which doesn’t display the remaining power reserve, but serves as an indicator of the optimal/non-optimal torque. This type of display is most well-known due to its use in some Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet complications calibers, developed by the Renaud et Papi movements factory. While the indicator’s hand resides at the centre portion of the torque indicator, it is at optimal torque. The red portion means that the mainspring is unwound to a point that the amplitude of the balance isn’t optimal. The red portion means that the mainspring is close to being fully wound, so torque is again suboptimal. The DR210 caliber, equipped with such an indicator, is a rare example of a modified Frédéric Piguet 1185 movement-blank, which increases the collector’s value of this lot, and also means that this watch has a useful practical function that informs the wearer about the movement’s winding state. Finished to a high standard, the caliber reveals appealing and finely elaborated haute horlogerie traditional finishings and rhodium plating, creating a beautiful contrast to the rose-gold-toned gilded engraved inscriptions and solid gold rotor featuring a fine guilloche pattern.

The present lot, featuring the DR210 caliber developed on the base of a Frédéric Piguet 1185 movement-blank, is one of the rarest Daniel Roth chronographs, keeping in mind that modification with a torque indicator is a rarity itself.

The Academie Ellipsocurvex Chronomax collection was launched circa 2005 in platinum (as the present example), in white gold with ‘sandwich’ dial, and with a flat guilloché dial (Ref. 347.Y.60), the same in rose gold (Ref. 347.Y.40), and two additional diamond-set versions in both types of gold and with ‘sandwich’ dials. The present example belongs to the earliest period of production of this reference, as evidenced by the early number marking the movement – 000015. Platinum Academie Ellipsocurvex Chronomax models are found on the secondary market much less often than those in gold, which only increases the attractiveness of this lot as a collectible.

Reasons to bid

According to our knowledge the present lot, featuring the DR210 caliber developed on the base of a Frédéric Piguet 1185 movement-blank, is one of the rarest Daniel Roth chronographs, keeping in mind that modification with a torque indicator is a rarity itself. Therefore, the Daniel Roth Academie Ellipsocurvex Chronomax Ref. 347.Y.70.763.CM.BD would appear to be an extremely attractive purchase for the collector due to its rare design, caliber features, and platinum execution. It is easily recognizable and instantly memorable, and represents one of the most spectacular pages in the chronology of excellent wrist chronographs by this remarkable watchmaker and the brand he founded.

Brand info

Daniel Roth, considered to be one of the most important modern watchmakers, has been hailed a visioner of high-end complicated mechanical watchmaking. In 1989, he founded his own brand after fifteen years as the leading watchmaker at Breguet, where he recreated the classic Breguet style and developed some iconic watches, including tourbillon, chronograph, perpetual calendar pieces, as well as the charismatic Ref. 3130, inspired by Breguet’s pocket watch No. 5 of 1794. For his own brand, Daniel Roth developed a unique style, a kind of late-20th century Breguet with a double ellipse-shaped Ellipsocurvex case design, instantly recognisable amongst watch connoisseurs, ruthenium-plated guilloché dials and blued steel arrow hands. Among Daniel Roth’s masterpieces, the tourbillons and the perpetual calendars are probably the most memorable and desirable. In 1994, looking for opportunities to develop the brand further, he sold the business to the Singaporean Hour Glass luxury retailer, and finally left it after it was again sold to Bulgari in 2000. Nevertheless, his approach to complicated watchmaking and inimitable style were still preserved in the Daniel Roth collection under Bulgari’s supervision until 2010, when the production of collections with the Daniel Roth brand name ceased to continue. Therefore, Daniel Roth’s watches are now regarded as very attractive collectibles.